Industry Panel – Finding Stories and Concepts that Travel
Thursday Sept 22nd 9:30-11:30, Kinopalatsi 2
How can your film go global? What does it take to appeal to international distributors and audiences? In this interactive, no-holds-barred panel, experts who have collectively made, sold, financed, and released hundreds of films will share their insider knowledge. You will learn how to pick concepts and stories originating in Finland that have the greatest opportunity to travel; how to package your projects successfully; how to take advantage of the changing digital distribution landscape; and how to express your creativity within the culture of global film. Be prepared with your questions, and be ready to talk (briefly! passionately!) about your current projects – this moderator, Adam Leipzig, is famous for getting everyone in the room involved in the conversation. Come early to make sure you get a seat!
Adam Leipzig has been a producer, distributor or supervising executive on more than 30 films that have disrupted expectations, including A Plastic Ocean (2016), March of the Penguins (2005), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Titus (1999). His movies have won or been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, 11 BAFTA Awards, 2 Golden Globes, 2 Emmys, 2 Directors Guild Awards, 4 Sundance Awards and 4 Independent Spirit Awards. Collectively, his projects have generated over $2 billion in revenue on $300 million production spending, and twice he has been responsible for the ‘most profitable picture of the year.’
Mr Leipzig is founder and CEO of Entertainment Media Partners; Senior Advisor to CreativeFuture, a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of creative communities; Publisher and Managing Editor of Cultural Weekly; and a faculty member at the prestigious UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. He is also the former President of National Geographic Films, where he raised $125 million in production financing, and was a Senior VP at Walt Disney Studios.
Mr. Leipzig is author of two books for emerging filmmakers published by Macmillan: Inside Track for Independent Filmmakers and Filmmaking in Action: Your Guide to the Skills and Craft, which has become the standard learning text at universities and colleges. Mr. Leipzig has written for the New York Times, CEO.com, Smart CEO Magazine, and many others.
Claudia Lewis recently stepped down as President of Production for Fox Searchlight Pictures after serving in that role for over ten years. She has been a senior executive with the company since its inception in 1995 and has overseen the production of more than 50 films, including the Academy Award Best Picture winner Birdman (2014) by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Descendants (2011) by Alexander Payne, Black Swan (2010) by Darren Aronofsky, 127 Hours (2010) by Danny Boyle and Juno (2007) by Jason Reitman.
Ms. Lewis helped acquire for Fox Searchlight Pictures the Academy Award Best Picture winners Twelve Years a Slave (2013) by Steve McQueen and Slumdog Millionaire (2008) by Danny Boyle, as well as Best Picture nominees Brooklyn (2015) directed by John Crowley, The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) by Wes Anderson and Palme d’Or-winning The Tree of Life (2011) by Terrence Malick. Ms. Lewis’s most recent productions include Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s The Battle of the Sexes starring Steve Carell and Emma Stone, Marc Webb’s Gifted, starring Chris Evans, Jeffrey Blitz’s ensemble wedding comedy Table 19 and British hit comedy Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
Prior to joining Fox Searchlight, Ms. Lewis was a producer with Addis-Wechsler on James Gray’s Little Odessa (1994) and Michael Tolkien’s The Rapture (1991). She began her executive career at Avenue Pictures, an independent production and distribution company, where she oversaw production of the Oscar-nominated The Player (1992) directed by Robert Altman and Gus Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy (1989). Moreover, she was involved in the acquisition of Jane Campion’s Sweetie (1989) and Terence Davies’ Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), amongst other titles.
Ms. Lewis received her BA in Film from UC Berkeley and attended the MFA program at UCLA. She has travelled throughout the world extensively, speaks fluent Spanish, and has attended all of the major film festivals since the beginning of her career. Ms. Lewis resides in Los Angeles.
Mike Goodridge is chief executive officer of UK-based production, finance and sales company Protagonist Pictures, which has established itself as one of Europe’s leading independent film outfits since it was established in 2008. Mr. Goodridge took over the company in 2012, and he has been responsible for stepping up the scale and budget of films in which the company is involved.
Under his aegis, Protagonist Pictures has doubled in size and delivered such hit films as Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship (2016), Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster (2015), Yann Demange’s ’71 (2014), John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary (2014) as well as Maggie’s Plan (2016), directed by Rebecca Miller, and Andrea Arnold’s American Honey (2016), which recently premiered at Cannes Film Festival.
Mr. Goodridge took the reins at Protagonist in 2012 after 22 years as a film business journalist and film critic. He worked in senior editorial positions at Screen International for 19 years, including 12 years as US editor in Los Angeles, and three years as an editor in London. He also works as a programmer for the international section of the Sarajevo Film Festival, which takes place in August. The section, named Kinoscope, showcases an eclectic mix of world cinema and has brought many renowned guests to the prestigious festival. He has written several books on cinema including Filmcraft: Directing and Filmcraft: Cinematography and is a member of BAFTA and the European Film Academy.
Mike Runagall is a Managing Director at Altitude Film Sales, an international sales arm of Altitude Film Entertainment. Founded in 2012 by Will Clarke, Andy Mayson and Mike Runagall, Altitude Film Entertainment is a vertically integrated film company comprising production, international sales and UK distribution.
Altitude Film Sales handles international sales and distributon for all in-house productions, as well as third party films. Altitude productions include Owen Harris’ Kill Your Friends (2015), based on John Niven’s novel starring Nicholas Hoult, James Corden and Craig Roberts and Jalmari Helander’s Big Game (2015) starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Stevenson and Jim Broadbent. Third party titles include Julius Avery’s Son of a Gun (2014) starring Ewan McGregor, Alicia Vikander and Brenton Thwaites, Colm McCarthy’s The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) starring Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine, Maradona – the new feature documentary from the Oscar–winning team behind Amy (2015) and Whitney, a revealing portrait of global superstar Whitney Houston, from Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn and Academy-Award winning director, Kevin Macdonald.
Prior to this, Runagall served as SVP international sales for Pathé International, where he oversaw international sales and distribution for both Pathé Productions and third party films including, The Queen (2006), The Iron Lady (2011), The Descent (2005), Gnomeo & Juliet (2011), Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2010) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008). He began his career at the BFI and Film4.
Laura Munsterhjelm is a talent agent and the founder of Actors in Scandinavia agency. Her client list includes the Academy Award winning, Alicia Vikander, Rebecca Ferguson Fares Fares, Alexander Karim, Malin Åkerman, Peter Franzén , Laura Birn and Lena Endre among others.